I am wearing a long, big, light, loose cotton shirt. It’s 10.15 at night, I didn’t go to work today and showered only an hour ago. I slipped into my pajyama, and for no reason whatsoever, decided to wear a full blown shirt with it’s full sleeves folded up. If Death is somewhere round the corner, lurking, keeping an eye on me, as it apparently does on everyone, I want her to know that this is how I would like to meet her. In a shirt that doesn’t go with the pajyamas, the time of the day, or the occasion. I am adequately calm and curious. There is the necessary detachment but also tingling sensations of mischief and melancholia. That sounds like an Adichie novel, no? I like it when life sounds like something that she must’ve written – loopy, not snappy; like rain on rivers – a bit chaotic but nothing unusual; a rare awareness of details and romantic visions laced with comedy. I fell in love with her, when I fell in love with you. You need lovers to fall in love with some books.
My heart broke a little today, when you said ‘Ceiling’. I realised I hadn’t thought of Ifem and Obinze in a long long time. I hadn’t thought of their banter, their pain and their politics. I hadn’t thought of the choices they made, the risks they took, and the lives they led. I hadn’t thought of the rhythms in which their story moved- like an odd sea- tumultuous on bright orange days and serene in the darkest of nights. My heart broke because not thinking about Americanah as frequently as I would, meant that I hadn’t thought about you – not enough.
I was buried between your thighs when you whimsically let that word slip, looking up, perhaps at the ceiling fan. We were cramped for space but inside you, I was comfortable beyond measure. You were perhaps looking up at the vastness beyond the ceiling – you never needed the sky to imagine. Our Americanah. We had to get here like this, and like this only. You were tired and sleepy, I was my usual jumpy self. We were about to start working on our separate assignments, and I wanted to steal a kiss. I played-cute, pulled your laptop aside, and leaned in to kiss you. You kissed me back, with the fullness of your lips, the tautness of your fingers and the deftness of your legs which coiled and clasped and pinned mine to the bed.
Perhaps I am calm and inspired tonight, because we had sex – finally after a long time (or at least what felt like a long time). Hopefully it’s a little more than that. That it isn’t about having sex after a long time (because the last time wasn’t all that way back, no?) but about having had sex without stepping over each other. That when I leaned in to kiss you, my dick wasn’t making plans. That I wasn’t whining like a child in a supermarket forcing you to behave like a parent. I felt like a lover today. I felt like that yesterday, day before, and the day before that in varying degrees. When you were speaking about the first time you went to the Cinema and watched the romantic adventure of Jack and Rose at the edge of your seat, and I blushed in front of a suspecting audience. When on a date night, reeling under carefully made pegs of whiskey, you asked me about the strange women I have fantasied about and I stuttered in awkwardness. When you asked me if I kiss you to write poems or write poems to kiss you and I kissed you. I felt a little less like a lover when we fought, again, over the same old useless binaries of desire-distance, romantic-mundane.
I wasn’t fighting today – not you, not my own pleasure, not the belief that what’s happening is what is meant to happen. That you are here with me, as much as you can. That I am present, as much as I can and that’s ok. It is beautiful to measure out vastness in little steps of delight. It is beautiful to think about Ifem and Obinze kissing by the bookshelf and leaving it at that. It is beautiful to write again without the compulsion to turn it into poetry of oomph and aah.
There is a lot more that I want to write. Write for instance, about why I find it hard to write when I am in pain and anxiety. I want to write more, so I don’t take this for granted. I want to keep writing to keep hoping that this is not a fluke shot of inspiration and love that came through only because today my dick was sated. I want to keep writing while I feel beautiful, so that I don’t stop writing about beauty when ugliness strikes.
I want to keep writing, because I want to keep loving.